Saturday, February 23
Spike and I take advantage of an extraordinarily balmy day to follow a trail leading away from our campsite. Bridget is in one of her moods and elects to stay home.
Climbing up, over, and around the massive hunks of conglomerate rocks among organ pipes, saguaros, palo verde, ironwood, creosote and ocotillo, I discover that our back yard is, perhaps, the loveliest section of the desert near Darby Well Road. You’ll see what I mean when you look at the slideshow at the end of this post. No skipping ahead. You’ve got to read all this stuff first.
Later the three of us go into town for a few groceries and drinking water.
I also want to buy another hummingbird feeder, one with perches on it for the gila woodpeckers. Maybe with two feeders, the hummers will have a chance to sip some sugar water.
It’s about three o’clock and the Saturday sellers are packing up.
I’ve noticed that it’s customary on Saturdays for people to set up tables at various points along the main drag, sometimes alongside their RV, to display merchandise for sale. I haven’t investigated these business ventures. From driving by it looks like what you’d expect at a flea market — used items, crafts, t-shirts, jewelry and such.
I find a pretty hummingbird feeder at True Value.
Olsen’s Grocery is humming with Saturday customers.
There’s something about this little market that I like. Here is where people mingle, brown and white, resident and RVer. With no line of demarcation between the cash registers and the produce section, customers sit at tables and scarf down Mexican-deli delights.
The meat and bakery departments excel many I’ve seen in large supermarkets. I cruise past great slabs of ribs, quality chops and steaks, including what I suspect is goat, along with large, deep bins of salsa and other concoctions that are a mystery to me.
Push your cart past the milk cooler and you run smack-dab into Ace Hardware.
One minute you’re checking the expiration dates on cottage cheese, the next you’re up to your eyeballs in plumbing fittings, paint cans, and socket wrenches, immediately followed by Lean Cuisine and Blue Bonnet ice cream. Oh, boy, gotta love it. There’s no place quite like Ajo’s grocery store.
The pricing system is a mystery.
One day eggs are outrageously high-priced. What the heck are in the cartons, Faberge? Come back three days later and eggs are 99 cents a dozen. I’ve seen items go from around $6 to $2 and back up again in the span of a week. It’s a quirky place, all right.
Happy banter prevails at check-out.
Interesting characters in various modes of dress smile and chat with each other and the cashiers.. Hmm . . . Is it me or do these cashiers have more personality than the ones you see, say, at Wal-Mart or Target?
As my cashier whips my items across the scanner, I’m transfixed by the flashing lights on her fingernails. “What’s this?” I ask good-naturedly. “You have fingernails that light up,” I remark, stating the obvious.
She stops, giggles, and holds out her hands, palms down, for me to examine.
“Wow,” I respond, “Very sexy in the dark, huh?”
“Oh, I have other ones that are meant for the dark,” she offers matter-of-factly, raking more items across the glass panel with lights a-flashing.
This sets my mind to wandering and wondering.
Hmm, nails for the dark . . . Nails that heat up? Nails that flash the colors of your mood? Nails that make fireworks? Nails that . . . . I dare not ask.
She pulls me back to focus on the task at hand. “You can scan your card now.”
The bagger-person fills my cart.
I shouldn’t have shopped hungry. I over-bought. I came here for food for the crew and sugar for the hummers, and here I am, pushing all these groceries out to the PTV. Oh well, I enjoyed another Olsen’s Grocery Experience.
I move the PTV over to the water dispenser.
The containers filled, I drop some trash in the receptacles in the parking lot, and head for home. On the way down Darby Well Road, I turn on the radio. A lively melody, a strong male voice, manic horns, an accordian, sing-a-long lyrics. Why is Mexican popular music so happy and our music is so . . . so . . .?
We pass a few campers tucked into campsites along the road.
A man turns away from the people near his RV, shades his eyes from the sun, steps forward, and squints at me and the PTV as we slowly pass. I raise my hand with a nod and keep going. I glance in the side mirror. He watches the PTV until we round a bend. Either he reads the blog and figured out I’m RVSue or he’s curious about the solar panel on top of the PTV. Gee, I should’ve stopped.
Okay, time for the slideshow. Let’s see, we need a title . . .
“Them Sure Are Some Big Rocks”
P.S. You thought I meant the trench coat kind of flasher, didn’t you! Speaking of lights, I added a headlight to the Amazon “Shopping Links”. The kind you wear on your head.